News Nosh 2.5.18

APN's daily news review from Israel
Monday February 5, 2018
Quotes of the day:
“True, we learn from experience and from nature, and know things others don’t. But nowadays people don’t care what’s inside of you, every employer wants to know what diploma you have."
-Daoud, 45, a Bedouin man from the village of Al-Muntar in the West Bank. Bedouin today want their children to go to school. But Israel is fighting in court to destroy the village schoolhouse.

“There’s a school in [the nearby settlement of] Ma’aleh Adumim, a place to get an education. All we’re asking is that we have a kindergarten and school as well. If you had a 6-year-old child who had to walk 6 kilometers both ways to get to school, wouldn’t you be concerned and want to change that?"
--Abdallah, 39, another resident of Al-Muntar village.

You Must Be Kidding: 
On the same day a planning council was due to hear an appeal by Bedouin villagers of Abu Nuwar village, Israel demolished two classrooms in the Bedouin community, which is also near the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim.**

Front Page:
Yedioth Ahronoth
  • Three new testimonies against teachers at Thelma Yellin High School - Education Ministry opens probe
  • Don’t be afraid to file a complaint // (actress) Michal Yanai, a graduate of the school
  • The (police) recommendation: Indictment against Minister Haim Katz
  • “There won’t be female combat soldiers in Golani or Paratroopers brigades”
  • Friendship song - Moving gesture for Haim Gouri (poet who died): At initiative of Yedioth Ahronoth, the veterans of the Palmach met with soldiers in the Education Corps band in order to perform his song together.
  • Water of the Kinneret from the faucet has become salty
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
Israel Hayom

News Summary:
Police recommended charging Israel's Labor Minister Haim Katz (Likud) with breach of trust and fraud, another Israeli security source warned government ministers that Gaza Strip is on the verge of collapse, which could lead to a conflict with Israel, but this time the warning came from the Chief of Staff himself, as Hamas prepared for that conflict and the US envoy to the Middle East blamed Hamas for the Strip’s crisis, Israeli government ministers approved legalizing the Havat Gilad settlement outpost in response to the murder of a settler there and Israel started issuing deportation notices to African asylum seekers making top news in today’s Hebrew newspapers.

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot told the Israeli cabinet that a war could result from the dire humanitarian and economic state of the Gaza Strip, which will only be worsened by the cutting of funding to UNRWA by the Trump administration. “The more the situation deteriorates, Israel Defense Force officials said, the more Gazan protesters will demonstrate at the border fence with Israel. The number of demonstrators has already increased in recent weeks, and Israeli army sources expressed concern that an incident along the fence could spark an escalation,” Haaretz+ wrote. Al Hayat newspaper reported Sunday that Hamas sees a ’95 percent' chance of confrontation with Israel, believing that Israel will use a training exercise planned on the southern front to open a military operation against Hamas. The report further said Hamas’ military wing has begun evacuating sites. It is unlikely that Hamas would launch a confrontation, political and human rights activists told Haaretz. Meanwhile, Israel intercepted materials used in the making of explosive devices and rockets at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Oddly, Eisenkot did not blame Hamas for the situation, but neither did the papers explain what are the causes for the unemployment, the polluted water, etc and whether it was something that Israel had power over. However, US President Donald Trump's Mideast Envoy Jason Greenblatt did. He said it was Hamas who was to blame because it was getting $100 million from Iran and using it for military purposes, such as tunnels and weapons.

Yedioth and Israel Hayom played down the Gaza crisis and instead focused on another statement Eisenkot made in his briefing to ministers, that women won’t serve on the combat frontlines while he's IDF chief.

Israel issued the first round of deportation notices to asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea, who had lined up at the Populations Authority office to renew their permits and make asylum requests. The letter giving them 60 days notice described the unnamed African country they will be deported to as having a 'flourishing tourism industry' and 'stability in its regime' and it detailed what would happen if they didn’t leave Israel. Journalist Oren Ziv of ActiveStills shared on +972mag a report from the Populations Authority building titled, “They told me to go to a third country. I won't go. I'll go to jail.” Yedioth also had a large report interviewing a man who said, “I prefer to go to jail than to return to Rwanda.”

Meanwhile, Yedioth and Haaretz noted that while Israel sought to deport thousands of Africans, the government approved importing 6,000 foreign workers for the construction industry. And despite the outcry by many Israelis over the expulsion plan, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused Jewish billionaire and philanthropist George Soros of funding a campaign against the expulsion. Soros said that was a ‘false claim,’ but that it's 'wrong' to send migrants to countries 'where they might be persecuted or killed.’ Yesterday, Yedioth reported that in a letter to Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, 25 of Israel's preeminent experts on international law wrote that the expulsion policy was illegal.

In response to the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, Israel’s cabinet approved legalizing the 50-family Havat Gilad outpost, where he lived. Haaretz reported that the cabinet also agreed to relocate it. Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman said, “There is no intention to expand and to annex privately-owned Palestinian lands but only to legalize the existing settlement after the murder [of Rabbi Shevach] and to connect it to water and electricity as well as make it accessible for humanitarian reasons.” But Peace Now told Haaretz: “Legalizing Havat Gilad is a new height of groveling before settlers. By legalizing Havat Gilad, an isolated outpost deep within the West Bank, the government is harming the chance for two states and rewarding land-stealing felons." Peace Now told Israel Hayom: This a "cynical exploitation of the murder." MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) said it amounts to "the government's surrender to the minority, which along the way also sent a message that it's profitable to break Israeli law." Palestinian officials condemned the move and said it seems to be the result of the change in U.S. policy in favor of Israel.
Quick Hits:
  • Lebanon will be blown back to the ‘Stone Age,’ Minister Katz warns - Echoing messages conveyed to Iran and Hezbollah by the prime minister and IDF spokesperson, the transportation minister tells Ynet that ‘Israel has set a red line—it won’t allow Lebanon to become a factory for the production of precision-guided missiles for Iran’; Education Minister Bennett clarifies: ‘If missiles are fired from Lebanon, Nasrallah will become Lebanon’s destroyer.’ (Ynet)
  • "Hezbullah purchased Druze land in Lebanon in order to transfer the missile factories there" - Arab sources said that the Shiite organization was working to remove the weapons factories from areas under its control, (which Israel has threatened to attack Lebanon over - OH), according to a report in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida. (Maariv and Israel Hayom)
  • Taking aim at Iran, US hits Hezbollah with new sanctions - Six people and seven entities linked to the Shiite terrorist group's financial network face aggressive Treasury Department sanctions as part of U.S. effort to crack down on Iran's largest Mideast proxy. Iran gives Hezbollah some $700 million a year. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
  • Israeli settlers attack Palestinians protesting in solidarity with child prisoners - Under the protection of Israeli forces, dozens of Israeli settlers physically and verbally assaulted residents, journalists and children in Hebron during a sit-in protest in solidarity with child prisoners (in Israeli jails). (Maan)
  • **Flouting Court Order, Israel's Civil Administration Razes Classrooms in West Bank Village - On the same day a planning council was due to hear an appeal by villagers, the classrooms in the Bedouin community of Abu Nuwar, near the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, were demolished. Two illegally built EU-funded classrooms in the West Bank are torn down by Israeli authorities, drawing the ire of the European Union, Palestinian Authority. (Haaretz and Ynet)
  • Deputy Health Minister decided: Palestinians won’t be employed at nursing homes - Yaakov Lietzman sent a letter to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, announcing he won’t allow employing Palestinians from the Territories at nursing homes in Israel, writing that “…there is an importance in bringing trustworthy empoyees and the kind (of people) who are acceptable to the families.” (Yedioth, p. 20)
  • Antifa activists' new goal: combating the far right in Israeli soccer - The anti-fascist group is looking for recruits among the socially minded and politically broad fan base of Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem in a bid to counter racism and even the occupation. (Haaretz+)
  • Palestinian who confessed to killing pregnant Israeli lover gets life in prison - The 29-year-old Nablus resident initially claimed he executed the murder to avenge unrequited love. He will be sentenced to life in prison based on agreement with prosecution. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • 6 Palestinians arrested over attack of Israeli in Abu Dis - Suspects arrested in attack on 59-year-old Tel Aviv resident who got lost and accidentally entered the Palestinian village, where he was pelted with stones and his car was set on fire (but protected by Palestinian security services). (Ynet)
  • Ex-Mossad Agent Regrets Backing Far-right German Party With Nazi Roots - Of his praise of the controversial German AfD, Rafi Eitan, who helped capture Eichmann, said he's backing off 'in light of the reactions.’ He told 103FM: "I feel I was wrong…This is a certain concept that I thought was correct, but in light of the reactions I am dropping it. I don’t want to deal with this subject anymore.”  (Haaretz and 103FM/Maariv)
  • Israel to probe suspicions of sexual abuse at elite art school - Israeli artist Boaz Arad, a former teacher at the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts, was found dead one day after it was reported that he had sexual relations with female students. (Haaretz)
  • Rishon LeZion corruption affair: Tel Aviv deputy mayor remanded - Following testimony of real estate entrepreneur involved in the affair, police arrest, remand Tel Aviv deputy mayor in the Rishon LeZion corruption scandal, inching closer to sufficient evidence needed to indict several contractors and government officials—among them former Coalition Chair MK David Bitan (Likud). (Yedioth/Ynet)
  • Stones thrown at Ashdod municipality building - Mayor says act of vandalism is result of decision to start handing out fines to businesses open on Shabbat, while police say act is likely a prank done by children; residents protesting city's Shabbat enforcement say 'We condemn any violence and incitement to violence.' (Ynet)
  • El Al CEO warns of mass flight cancellations due to security-staff shortage - David Maimon appeals to Foreign Ministry to find funding as summer season approaches. (Haaretz)
  • Israeli Defense Ministry Readies for Major Earthquake - One option the ministry is exploring is building of a number of residential compounds that could hold more than a million evacuated residents for up to three years. (Haaretz+)
  • S&P affirms Israel A+ credit rating, gives economy positive outlook - International credit rating agency Standard & Poor's predicts the Israeli economy is likely to grow by 3.1% a year between 2018 and 2021. (Israel Hayom)
  • Turkey's Erdogan: Jerusalem is 'my top priority' in meeting with Pope Francis - 'The Pope and myself are at one on Jerusalem,' the Turkish president states as he calls for the whole world to 'recognize the State of Palestine.’ (Haaretz)
  • In First, Germany to Compensate 25,000 Holocaust Survivors From Algeria - The great majority of these survivors live in France today, with some 3,900 of them living in Israel. Those eligible will receive a one-time payment of 2,556 euros. (Haaretz and Maariv)
  • Bank of Israel warns of growing cybercriminal threat - Bank of Israel says damage from fraud has been minimal to date. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • Surprising candidate in battle for control over Israeli telecom titan: A Brazilian-Jewish billionaire - Elie Horn is a Jew of Syrian descent who lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil and also happens to grace Forbes' World Billionaires list with an estimated worth of $2 billion. (Haaretz+)
  • Secret Arafat Diaries Published by Italian Magazine Allegedly Detail How PLO Leader Accepted Bribes From Berlusconi - Left-wing weekly claims that, in the diaries written until a month prior to his death, Italy and PLO had secret non-aggression pact in 1980s. (Haaretz+ and Ynet)
  • Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate to host event celebrating Israel's 70th anniversary - The event underway comes amid a slew of cancellations by Jewish organizations that decided to shun the president's famed Florida resort after he made his controversial remarks on Charlottesville. (Haaretz+)
  • New Jersey pension fund to divest from Danish bank over Israel - New Jersey's government workers' pension fund to pull investment portfolio with Danske Bank after State Association of Jewish Federations argues bank is refusing to do business with Israeli defense companies. Bank official: We are not boycotting Israel. (Israel Hayom)
  • Iran Jails Unnamed 'Spy' for Tipping Off U.S., Europe on Nuclear Plans - A Tehran prosecutor says the convicted person revealed information on 'sanctions and nuclear matters' to U.S. and European agents, sentences him to six years in prison. (Agencies, Haaretz)
  • France to finance exports to Iran to sidestep US sanctions - Plan is to offer dedicated, euro-denominated export credits to Iranian buyers of French goods and services and so avoid the extraterritorial reach of US legislation; about 1.5 billion-euros worth of exports waiting, says head of state-owned investment bank Bpifrance. (Agencies, Ynet)
  • Syrian Civilians Hit by Chlorine Gas Attack, Activists Say - The civilians are said to have suffered chlorine poisoning during an attack on a rebel-held town in the Idlib province. (Agencies, Haaretz)

*School Could Be Out Forever for These Bedouin Kids in the West Bank
Israel wants to demolish the school in Al Muntar, with alternatives located too far away for the children to attend. Residents believe they face expulsion because of expansion plans for an adjacent settlement. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+)
Paratroopers prepare for full self-reliance in Lebanon war scenario
Amid the rugged Mt. Carmel forests, troops learn to make use of food, fuel, medical supplies from Lebanese population, fix weapons mid-battle; Fact that Hezbollah is now a more professional, conventional, highly trained army, not militia, seen as advantage for IDF. (Yoav Zitun, Ynet)
Empowering what is missing: when the mother of Gil-Ad met the children named after him
22 families in Israel and abroad chose to name their children after Gil She’er, one of the three boys (sic - youth) who were kidnapped and murdered in June 2014. Last Friday they came to an unusual planting ceremony in Gush Etzion initiated by his mother. (Karni Eldad, Maariv Magazine supplement, cover)
Brainwashing and Cross-dressing: Israel's Assassination Program Laid Bare in Shocking Detail
Ronen Bergman’s riveting history of Israel’s use of targeted killings in his book, “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations,” reveals for the first time many operations carried out in the name of national security. Some may inspire the reader while others will sicken. (David B. Green, Haaretz+)
The only Jew to survive the 1941 Odessa massacre
Mishka Zaslavsky, 93, will never forget the massacre in Odessa, when 22,000 Jews were burned alive; 'I've been told it's not nice to say I shoved people, but that's what happened,' recounts the only survivor to escape the inferno, while his mother and siblings were murdered; but he doesn't regret staying in Ukraine; 'If I go, who will protect my family's bones?'  (Yifat Erlich, Yedioth/Ynet)

Why Israeli Fighter Jets Aren’t Enough to Solve Egypt's ISIS Problem (Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz+) While ISIS has lost nearly all the territory it held in Iraq and Syria, the group’s much smaller affiliate in Sinai is still going strong — despite Israeli airstrikes.
Without a change in the assessments and without the will of the parties: Thus, an escalation is created in the south through words (Tal Lev Ram, Maariv) Despite the rocket fire at the end of the week and the economic situation in the Gaza Strip, which continues to deteriorate rapidly, the security establishment has no new intelligence information indicating Hamas' intentions to launch an initiated campaign…In the current situation, carelessness on both sides could lead to an escalation, even if neither side has the will to start a war at this time. Despite the escalating trend, Israel and its enemies still have a great deal of maneuvering space and flexibility to avoid war. At this point in time, a confrontation in Gaza is not a a fated decree. The way to prevent it is mainly by increasing international involvement in rebuilding the Gaza Strip, which is sinking into a humanitarian disaster that does not serve Israel.
How Lebanon sees Israel’s war threats (Smadar Perry, Yedioth/Ynet) Over the years, we have gotten used to seeing Lebanon as a war games field; no one asks for permission to fly IAF planes and UAVs on their way to hit Syrian targets, according to foreign reports. Suddenly, Lebanon is acquiring the status of a responsible sovereign state, and the Lebanese are flexing their muscles before signing oil-drilling contracts in disputed territory.
Poland: Nation of Righteous Gentiles? (Holocaust historian, Yehuda Bauer, Haaretz+) Where are the scholars and academics who could weigh in expertly on the recent 'Polish death camps' bill?
Blaming Poland for the Holocaust Is Unjustified (Moshe Arens, Haaretz+) There is one crucial difference between Poland and the other nations of Europe that came under German occupation.
Poland's new Holocaust bill: Why doesn't Israel hold a March of the Living in Berlin? (Carolina Landsmann, Haaretz+) Instead of threatening the cancellation of trips to Poland, Israel should see it as an appropriate opportunity to end them and to open a new page in its attitude toward the memory of the Holocaust.
Mind the pillars democracy rests on (Dr. Haim Shine, Israel Hayom) Judges who help themselves to too much power without legal justification have no right to criticize others for attacking democracy.
Why are we Israelis so cruel to so many? (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) With the African refugees, just as with the Palestinians, we are doing the opposite of 'what is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.'
Migrants' lives are not at risk (Eldad Beck, Israel Hayom) There is no obligation to provide illegal migrants with a life of convenience, the likes of which they have grown accustomed to in certain Western states.
Fight for Ashdod (Haaretz Editorial) The Minimarkets Law changes the status quo and gives enormous power to minority groups- who happen to hold more power in the Knesset.
Kerry's delusions (Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom) Jordan and Egypt view peace with Israel through a utilitarian lens. Contrary to the former U.S. secretary of state's wishful thinking, they will never come to Israel's defense.
Haim Gouri, a fighter in the ranks of Hebrew poetry (Eli Eliyahu, Haaretz+) The late and legendary poet was turned into an ethos but he was not a man of ethos himself- he was a poet of compassion, a rare commodity in an age lacking compassion.
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.
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